The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today it will delay, to Nov. 1 from Aug. 10, the starting date for enforcing new anti-retaliation provisions in its recently updated injury and illness tracking rule. The move comes five days after a business coalition filed a lawsuit challenging the anti-retaliatory provisions of the rule.
The rule requires employers to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, OSHA says. It also puts into place procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses "that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting," while keeping current prohibitions on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.
OSHA delayed the implementation "to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers," the agency said in a news release.
On July 8, a coalition that included Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the National Association of Manufacturers filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northen District of Texas. According to ABC's news release, the coalition said the anti-retaliation provisions "will limit post-accident drug testing and safety programs that contribute to construction jobsite safety."
"Root cause analysis is key to develop procedures that prevent future accidents," said Greg Sizemore, ABC's vice president of health, safety, environment, and workforce development, "so we need to know whether drugs or alcohol were a factor."